Sports

January 26, 2013

McKinney steps down on diamond

For the second year in a row, Dalton High’s softball team will have a new coach.

Lady Catamounts coach Jeff McKinney, who took over just before the start of the 2012 season after Bobby Brotherton resigned, submitted his letter of resignation to Dalton High athletic director Ron Ward this week.

Brotherton, who was also the school’s baseball coach, resigned in August after he took a position with Whitfield County Schools. McKinney, who also coaches girls basketball — he is in his 13th season leading that program — said he hadn’t even planned on being an assistant coach for this past softball season because his son Jordon would be playing freshman and junior varsity football at Dalton.

“It was so late when the season was about to start, and coach Brotherton hated to leave the girls hanging like that, and I just wanted the girls to have some kind of stability,” McKinney said. “I just didn’t want to miss any of Jordon’s stuff. I missed so much of his middle school games, and my original intent was to be there for his games during high school.”

Ward said he wasn’t surprised with Mc-Kinney’s resignation and was grateful to him for filling the void.

“When Bobby left, that left us with a huge hole to fill, and softball was coming up very quickly,” Ward said. “Jeff was instrumental in stepping in, and it was a great and easy transition for the girls and he did a great job with them. He had been telling me that it would probably be a one-year thing.”

McKinney assisted Brotherton during the 2011 season, which was also the senior year of McKinney’s daughter Chandler. He had submitted his resignation as a softball assistant in preparation for Jordon’s freshman year, but when Brotherton left the program, Ward asked McKinney to step in and lead.

“It was so late and the season was about to start and coach Brotherton wouldn’t have wanted the girls to have to start all over,” McKinney said. “A lot of those girls are like my own girls, and I didn’t want them to suffer. I knew all of the drills that coach Brotherton used, and we kept everything like it was in practice from the last year and changed very little from the previous year.”

McKinney’s team went 15-19 overall but got hot in the postseason. Despite entering the Region 7-4A tournament as the event’s lowest seed, the Lady Cats earned a berth in the Class 4A state playoffs and advanced to the second round before losing 2-1 in a best-of-three series at Columbus. A pair of seniors signed athletic scholarships after the season ended, with Allie Blackwood going to Austin Peay and Carson Hagin going to Alderson-Broaddus University.

One solution to the Lady Cats’ coaching vacancy that may be on some people’s minds isn’t likely to happen. After Brotherton’s departure, Ward brought in former Northwest Whitfield softball coach and baseball assistant Shane Ramsey to take over the Cats’ baseball program, and he’ll lead that team for the first time this spring. However, Ward said Ramsey told him he “isn’t interested” in the softball job.

“He is expecting a new child, and he can’t devote the time to both programs with a new child on the way,” Ward said.

McKinney isn’t the only departure from the softball program.

Text Only
Sports
  • Report: Boggs now with Giants

    Dalton’s Mitchell Boggs has signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to baseballamerica.com. Contract information, along with which minor league affiliate Boggs, a pitcher, will start with, was not available in the report, and Boggs was not listed on any of the online rosters for any of the Giants’ minor league affiliates.

    July 21, 2014

  • SE wrestling practice 5 mlh.jpg Herndon leaving Raiders to coach at Calhoun; new coach named at SE Whitfield

    Michael Herndon’s successful three-year run as Southeast Whitfield High School’s wrestling coach has come to an end.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hipp makes cut at qualifying tourney

    Chatsworth golfer Colby Hipp earned the chance to play on today in a U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament at Reynolds Plantation-Great Waters in Eatonton.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7on7 day 2 '14 17 mlh.jpg Devin Golden: Friday signals gridiron days’ official start

    Seven-on-seven football was a good placeholder, but it’s time to begin talking about the real thing.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCAC-B&W.jpg CCAC has strong showing at 14-and-under state meet

    The Carpet Capital Aquatics Club had 16 club records broken in a 12th-place finish at the 2014 Georgia 14-and-under Long Course State Championship meet Saturday at Georgia Tech’s swimming facility.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Golf now in era of McIlroy after Open

    Royal & Ancient officials, under whose auspices the Open championship is conducted each year, were blessed with a sun-kissed start of the final round of the 143rd playing of this historic event.

    July 21, 2014

  • Motocross kid 6 mlh.jpg Dirt, gas and guts

    Lucas Amos is like a lot of other 6-year-olds who will be going into first grade at Tunnel Hill Elementary this school year.
    He likes to play the video game sensation Minecraft, building different structures and fending off zombies when the sun goes down. He likes to spend time with his grandparents, traveling around the Southeast with them most every weekend.
    And he likes to play in the dirt.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: McIlroy at his peak at Hoylake

    HOYLAKE, England — It’s the setting which enraptures those who appreciate the things that accompany a championship, The British refuse to let a downpour or two, intermittent and inconvenient, to make them fret.

    July 20, 2014

  • MMA guys 1 mlh.jpg Up close and personal

    Dustin Dyer remembers his first fight — and he has wisdom to share with North Georgia Hayastan Mixed Martial Arts Academy’s three new mixed martial arts fighters.
    “It’s just another day in the gym,” Dyer said, “just with a bigger crowd. Here (in the gym) is where you work. Out there is fun.”

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Change is needed for major titles

    HOYLAKE, England — This is a good time to be Bubba Watson — long off the tee which brings golf aficionados through the gates, two Masters titles which puts him in the pantheon of the greats at Augusta, deal-makers hovering about, more perks than a palace prince, exempt status to the end of the decade and a cash flow that resembles a raging river.

    July 19, 2014

Devin Golden's sports updates
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts